“Motivation gets you going and habit gets you there. Make motivation a habit and you will get there more quickly and have more fun on the trip” Zig Ziglar
It is already mid-January and it’s usually around this time that we start thinking about putting our New Year Resolutions into practice, or it may be that some of us have already put our plans into motion.
We all start the New Year with the best intentions and say “this time is different, this time I will stick to my goal/s” but somewhere along the way we forget that New Year Resolutions are for life and not just for a few weeks in January. What’s the reason for this? Why do we slip back into the same old self defeating habits instead of creating better futures for ourselves? Most people would argue that change is difficult, they say “this relationship is too much hard work”, or “no matter what I do I still can’t lose weight”, and worst still “what’s the point in trying when there are so many obstacles in my way”. So they start sabotaging their own success – they give up before they even get started. If we want lasting change, then we need to create habits of a lifetime.
Whether the changes you want are related to losing weight or getting fit, changing careers, making more money, or creating better relationships, there are steps you can take to ensure that you stay motivated.
Here are 4 simple steps to keep you on track:
1. REVISIT YOUR INTENTION
When you lose sight of your original goal or intention you lose focus and slowly lose sense of your direction. It’s at this point that you forget the reasons why you decided to change your eating habits or what motivated you to follow a budget in the first place. Once you decide on your goals, it is really important that you revisit them and remember nothing is set in stone, you can always re-evaluate or redefine them to fit with your present circumstances. The most important thing is to have a powerful intention that keeps you moving forward, one that takes you where you want to go. To make sure you stay on track create an “Intention” affirmation or statement that you can keep on the forefront of your mind. You could even put it in writing and put it somewhere visible so that each time you see it you can be re-inspired and re-focused. Here’s an example of what your “Intention” affirmation might look like:
I intend to live within my budget and live a debt free life.
I intend to communicate with honesty, integrity and understanding and create a wonderful new relationship.
I intend to reach my ideal weight and live a healthy, strong and fit life.
2. GET SUPPORT
The key to making a commitment to your goal is accountability – in order to stay motivated enlist an individual or a group to support you on your journey of transformation. There’s nothing more powerful than being connected with like-minded people who are on a similar path, who can identify and encourage you to keep going, even when times get tough. This is one of the most motivating forces of all – so get connected! You could join a support group, hire a Life Coach or even have a “buddy” you can talk to at least once a week. Make a commitment for the next 3 months and start experiencing the unlimited benefits that come from taking accountability for your all your actions and behaviour.
3. ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR SUCCESSES!
Before you take another step, stop and reflect on what you’ve achieved so far – think of all the positive changes you’ve already made. Even the smallest achievement is a step forward in the right direction, for it provides the foundation for lasting change. By acknowledging all your achievements, big or small, you will begin to appreciate the realistic progress you’ve made so far, rather than expecting a quick-fix or an overnight success. Break down your goal into small manageable chunks and remember to reward yourself at each milestone!
4. VISUALISE YOUR OUTCOME
This is another powerful tool which puts the emphasis on the desired outcome. Give 10 minutes of your time each day to visualise your end result; acting “as if” it’s already been accomplished in your mind’s eye, you’ll begin to reprogram your subconscious mind by installing new beliefs. By visualising a desired outcome several times and magnifying the emotions attached to it, you will give life to your imagination and your senses. This in turn creates new neural pathways, which means that every time you think of your intention you will remember your outcome as if it were already in the here and now – creatively driving your imagination to look for ways to fulfil your desires.
You already have all the resources you need to follow through on all of your good intentions. Willpower and discipline are never enough and they are always too rigid. Maybe the best motivation comes from being flexible in our approach or being persistent and determined to get up each time we fall. Whether you’re dealing with weight, relationships, career, or finances, you’ll undoubtedly have your ups and downs. There may be days when you hit a plateau, or feel discouraged. You may even question your original intention and motivation behind it. However, if you follow these simple 4 steps on the path of change you’ll be re-inspired and your journey will become easier.
Have a great month and remember that by changing the way you think you change the way you experience your world!